Twitter protest supporters rejecting calls for looting, say police

Twitter protest supporters rejecting calls for looting, say police

From left, deputy Bangkok police chief Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai and deputy police spokesmen Pol Col Siriwat Deepor and Pol Col Kissana Phathanacharoen in their press conference on Tuesday. (Photo supplied)
From left, deputy Bangkok police chief Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai and deputy police spokesmen Pol Col Siriwat Deepor and Pol Col Kissana Phathanacharoen in their press conference on Tuesday. (Photo supplied)

Some anonymous Twitter users had encouraged anti-government demonstrators to loot in order to increase tensions, but there were many reponses rejecting the idea, a police spokesman said on Tuesday.

Pol Col Siriwat Deepor, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police Office, said some anonymous Twitter posters had said demonstrators should loot and damage government and private property, as protesters did in other countries. He did not say how many.

However, there had been many posts in response by protest supporters advising their peers not to allow themselves to be used by people with ill intentions, and the government was thankful for their warnings, he said.

The government's emergency situation command was concerned about the development, he said. He also warned that demonstrators should not allow themselves to become a tool of any party with ill intentions.

Anybody caught looting would be charged with violating the state of emergency decree, which bans rallies, and also crimes against property, robbery and theft, he said.

The Twitter users who proposed looting were in breach of  the Computer Crime Act and the state of emergency decree, which carried maximum penalties of a 100,000 baht fine and/or five years in prison. 

Bangkok deputy police chief Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai said the Metropolitan Police Bureau had 1,860 police officers on standby to handle future crowds and ensure the safety of demonstrators.

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